The main focus of this publication is the link between South Africa's grand pan-African ambitions, especially in the area of peace, security and governance, and its own capacity to pursue these objectives. Specifically, the paper examines Pretoria's involvement in Africa, and internal capacity to support its mediation, peacekeeping and strengthening the abilities of African institutions for peacemaking. Further, it examines the challenges posed by tension between its pan-African and economic interests as well as power rivalry at the continental level, which have greatly limited its ability to take a more assertive role in regional political and economic developments. It briefly describes South Africa's relations within SADC and the AU, as well as with Zimbabwe and examines the challenges posed by the agendas of China and Africa's former colonial powers. ""The Democracy & Governance Research Programme of the HSRC"" explores contributions to and constraints upon democratisation throughout South Africa and the African continent. Researchers evaluate the policies and impact of government, business and civil society with regard to the capacity to reduce inequality and poverty whilst empowering communities to promote local, national and regional sustainable development.
Dr Peter Kagwanja is a former Chief Research Specialist in the Democracy & Governance Research Programme at the HSRC. He is currently President and CEO of the Africa Policy Institute and a Research Associate at the University of Pretoria.